Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 1st 2014 Contents A18
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has defend-
ed the seizure of a factory owned by United States-
based company Clorox.
"Socialist formula: any company that s abandoned
will be taken over by the working class," Maduro
Cleaning products maker Clorox closed its pro-
duction facilities in Venezuela last week, saying gov-
ernment-imposed price freezes were crippling it.
The Venezuelan authorities have accused Clorox
of illegally abandoning the country and have seized
"The legal documents in various government and
judicial institutions demonstrate the abandonment
of their legal and constitutional responsibilities," Mr
He said the closure of the plant was part of an
"economic war" being waged against the socialist
government by the opposition.
He warned the working class to be "alert to this
Clorox, which sells bleach and other household
cleaning products in Venezuela, announced in a state-
ment on September 22 that it would cease its oper-
Argentina found to
be in contempt of
court by US judge
A United States judge has ruled that the Republic
of Argentina is in contempt of court for refusing
to obey an order to repay the debt it owes to two
US hedge funds.
Argentina has been mired in a US court dispute
with the funds, which bought the country s debt at
a discount after its default in 2001.
In July, Judge Thomas Griesa ruled that Argentina
must repay the funds before it can repay other bond-
Argentina refused, sending the country into default.
Earlier on Monday, Argentina s ambassador to the
US warned in a letter to US Secretary of State John
Kerry that if the country was found to be in contempt
of court, it would represent "unlawful interference"
in Argentina s domestic affairs.
And in a strong statement, the Argentine Foreign
Ministry in Buenos Aires said Judge Griesa s ruling
"violates international law" and "has no practical
effect other than to provide new elements helpful
to the slanderous political and media campaign con-
ducted by vulture funds against Argentina".
It added: "Griesa holds the sad record of being
the first judge to declare a sovereign state in contempt
for paying a debt, after failing in his attempt to block
the restructuring of the foreign debt of Argentina."
Judge Griesa said he would decide on a penalty
at a later date.
After Argentina defaulted on about $100bn
(£61.5bn) of debt in 2001, the country negotiated a
settlement with the majority of its bondholders to
repay a certain portion of the amount owed.
Some bondholders accepted swaps for lesser-
valued bonds, but were not paid interest on those
However, two hedge funds - NML Capital and
Aurelius Capital Management - have demanded full
repayment of the $1.5 billion (£920 million) they are
owed, and have sued to prevent the country from
paying back only its restructured bonds.
"Argentina has repeatedly and wilfully violated
the orders of the court," they said in a complaint
Argentina has refused, saying that they are "vulture
funds", and has attempted to enact legislation to
skirt Judge Griesa s ruling.
This has left two banks in New York - Bank of
New York Mellon and Citigroup - with millions of
dollars on hold that Argentina had planned to pay
in interest to holders of its renegotiated debt. (BBC)
ations there immediately and try to sell its
It cited as its reason government price
controls on its products, which it said had
led to millions of dollars in losses.
The statement said that for nearly three
years, the company had had to sell more
than two-thirds of its products at fixed
prices which did not cover its production
costs, which had been driven up by sky-
It also said recent price increases "were
nowhere near sufficient".
Venezuela earlier this month announced
that its annual inflation rate had reached
63.4 per cent.
On Friday, Venezuelan officials announced
the temporary seizure of the Clorox facilities.
But after the company warned that the
seizure could pose risks for workers,
Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Arreaza
said the government would not rush its
"We are going to make a plan to reactivate
the factory, we cannot make hasty decisions,"
A number of multinational companies,
including international airlines, has com-
plained of the damage they say they are
being caused by Venezuela s currency con-
trols and high inflation. Airlines have scaled
back flights to the country. (BBC)
Venezuelan leader Maduro defends Clorox seizure
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
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